Pull Out The Folding Chairs - The Prepared Table: Day 3
Song of Praise: Doxology
Scripture: Matthew 28:18-20; Psalm 84
Christians are a privileged and employed people. Did you know that we are called to be joyous, kingdom-expanders? Christians should be delightfully devoted to the expansion of Jesus' kingdom. Primarily, this happens when we obey God's commands, and disciple the nations. After the fall of humanity, all of creation was placed under the curse of death. Because of this curse, all of creation is woefully rebellious and in need of Christian subjugation. Every time someone turns away from their wicked rebellion against God, and instead submits to King Jesus, the Kingdom of God grows a little broader. Every time a Christian finds a new way to better steward creation, causing the Earth to function as it was originally designed, the kingdom of God is being restored. With His finished work on the cross, Jesus won back all that Adam and Eve had lost when they rebelled in the Garden of Eden. Adam failed to obey God, but Jesus obeyed perfectly. Adam lost the right to rule the Earth, but Jesus won back the title deed to Earth; making Him the King of Kings. Adam forfeited his right to have access to God; but Jesus ascended and the Father sat Him at His right hand. Jesus became our Mediator and High Priest, restoring the community and fellowship between mankind and God.
Christians are not only Kingdom builders, but also ambassadors for Jesus' Kingdom. Easter is a great time to open up your home to friends, neighbors, and family. Everyone loves to celebrate holidays and desires to be included in the festivities. This desire is highly spiritual.
We are created from the beginning to belong at a table and to be in fellowship. However, not just any table invitation will fill the desire to belong, nor will just any type of fellowship be satisfying. Spiritual fellowship and feasting are what all people truly crave. These longings are satisfied only when we are ushered to King Jesus' prepared Table, when we are made righteous and are invited into perfect fellowship with God.
Our Earthly tables may not be very impressive, or elaborate. Our homes may be small and unassuming, but don't let pride hinder your efforts- pull out your folding chairs! Invite your neighbors and friends over to feast with you. God can use the smallest things to bring about massive kingdom expansion. When we open our homes, prepare a meal, and learn about King Jesus together, we wage war against the enemies of God. This is how we can delight and labor for the sake of our King Jesus. Hospitality is not merely about a manicured tablescape, it is about disciple-making. Thankfully, you can easily enjoy good food and fellowship while sitting around a card table or while sitting on a futon. Any table that is prepared to discuss the beauty of King Jesus, while partaking in a delicious feast, is truly a table well prepared. Invite your family and friends to your table, and proclaim the goodness of our Lord Jesus, who prepared a seat for us at His.
Table Talk Questions:
Why do we love to celebrate holidays with other people?
How should every Christian be "building Christ's kingdom"?
What is of greater significance, creating a beautiful table or preparing a joyful place to learn about Jesus?
May the Lord bless you and keep you;
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Chicken Spinach and Orzo, Sauteed Zucchini Parm, & Apple Crisp
Chicken Spinach and Orzo
Cook and Prep Time: about an hour
8-10 Chicken drumsticks or 3 breasts cut into strips
Salt and Pepper (be a bit heavy handed, it needs it)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Yellow Onion
1 Tablespoon dried Thyme
2 teaspoon Oregano
2 teaspoon Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
4 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
2 cups Orzo pasta
32 ounces Chicken Broth
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1 bag (6 to 8 ounces) Baby Spinach
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
½ cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
Prepare your chicken by cutting chicken breasts (if you are using breasts) into strips, lay your chicken on a large plate.
Season chicken with half of the salt,pepper, garlic,and thyme. Squeeze 1 lemon's juice over the chicken.
set in the fridge to marinate for as long as possible, at least 15-20 minutes.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet.
Add chicken to skillet and brown on all sides.
Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
Melt butter in skillet.
Add in diced onion and cook over medium heat until caramelized.
Stir in orzo pasta; cook for 2 minutes,
Add chicken broth, oregano, cayenne pepper,and thyme, stir to combine.
Arrange prepared chicken over the orzo.
Add tomatoes and spinach on top, squeeze the juice of a lemon over the top; season with additional salt, pepper and garlic, and bring mixture to a boil.
Lower the heat to a simmer; cover and cook until the orzo has completely absorbed the liquid and the chicken is cooked.
Remove from heat and sprinkle with cheese.
Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Sauteed Zucchini Parm
Prep and Cook Time: 20 minutes
*Total cook time depends on how large your batches are. Each individual batch takes about 10 minutes.
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
3 medium Zucchini, thinly sliced
2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 cup Parmesan, finely grated
1 Tablespoon dried Parsley
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a large saute pan on medium heat
Add half the zucchini slices and lay as many pieces as possible flat on the bottom of the pan.
Cook for 6-7 minutes.
Only stir every 2 minutes or so.
You want the bottoms to get nice and crispy before stirring and crisping on the other side as well.
While the zucchini is cooking combine the parsley, garlic, and parmesan in a small bowl and stir to combine.
Remove the cooked zucchini to a plate and add the remaining zucchini to the pan.
If needed, add a little more olive oil.
Repeat cooking zucchini as instructed above.
When the zucchini are about done, turn off the heat, and add all zucchini into the pan.
Top with the parmesan mixture and stir everything together.
Apple Crisp & Vanilla Ice Cream
*Vanilla Ice Cream is a great addition to this recipe, and if asked, would make a great guest contribution
Prep and Cook Time: about an hour
Yields 1-9x13 or 1-12 inch Cast Iron Skillet
6-8 Medium Granny Smith Apples (or your preference), peeled and sliced
¼ cup Corn Starch
2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
½ cup Sugar
½ teaspoon ground Nutmeg
Combine all and add to your dish
1 stick of Butter melted
¾ cup Flour
¾ cup Rolled Oats
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 pinch Salt
1 tsp ground Cinnamon
Combine all and add sprinkle over your Apple mixture.
Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes. Until apples are desired texture and the crumble is bubbled and brown.
Serve warm and with a side of Ice Cream if you wish.